Polls: Santorum Heading for Frontrunner Status?

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New polls reveal there may be a new frontrunner in the race for the Republican presidential nomination as former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., gains some serious momentum among the GOP faithful.

"Isn't this a great country? I love this," Santorum told a crowd at a campaign rally in Washington state this week.

Boosted by his three-state GOP sweep last week, Santorum is on a roll.

"It's all good news. We're feeling good," he said.

The positive momentum has the former Pennsylvania senator looking like the new Republican frontrunner.

A new Gallup poll reveals Santorum has jumped 14 points in less than a week. The poll shows him at 30 percent this week, rising from 16 percent from the poll taken on Feb. 7.

And according to a new Pew Research Center national poll, Santorum has a two-point lead over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. The Pew results have Santorum at 30 percent and Romney at 28 percent.

The Pew center shows Santorum leading Romney in three important Republican groups.

  • He leads among the Tea Party with 42 percent to Romney's 23 percent.
  • Among conservatives, Santorum leads with 36 percent to Romney's 25 percent.
  • Evangelicals give Santorum the edge with 41 percent to Romney's 23 percent.

"Conservatives and Tea Party folks are the base of the Republican Party. They are the Republican Party," Santorum said.

"I don't know who he's appealing to," Romney told CBN News Reporter David Brody. "If you look at conservatives and Tea Party types, they make up the vast majority of who Republican voters are in a caucus and in a primary. Maybe that's why he's not doing as well as people thought he would do."

Meanwhile in Arizona, Romney is emphasizing his conservative credentials.

"My conservatism did not come so much from reading the writings of great conservative scholars as it did come from my living my life, my family, my faith, my business," he told a crowd of supporters.

The Romney campaign is using its financial advantage to try to bolster support in upcoming states like Arizona and Michigan.

The former Massachusett's governor's campaign acknowledges that as of now they could be trailing in Michigan, where Romney was born and his father served as governor.

As for Newt Gingrich, he said he's in the race to stay. The former House speaker is in California attending fundraisers.

Gingrich said he's been counted out several times in the presidential campaign, but has bounced back each time.

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Mark Martin is a reporter and anchor at CBN News, covering various issues from military matters to alternative fuels. Mark has reported internationally in the Middle East and traveled to Bahrain to cover stories on the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkMartinCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/MarkMartinCBN.